東京物語 / Tokyo Story 🗼 (Japanese Film Club)

Aug 4th - Aug 17th

Japanese Film Club Home Thread

IMDB Entry

Known Content Warnings

If this counts, it’s really sad. Death of a parent

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags/hide details to discuss plot events.
  • Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Someone will probably look at this thread even well after the official period ends.
  • Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible :slightly_smiling_face:


In addition to Criterion, Kanopy etc in my region, this movie is on Youtube with optional English subs! So it should be accessible to anyone who wants to join.

Youtube Link

  • I watched with no subs
  • I watched with Japanese subs
  • I watched with English subs
  • I clicked a poll
0 voters
How would you rate this film?
  • ☆☆
  • ☆☆☆
  • ☆☆☆☆
  • ☆☆☆☆☆
0 voters

Seems like it’s available on Amazon Prime too!

Just to double check, we’re watching the 1972 one not the 1953 one?


Thanks for sharing. That year seems like an Amazon error? We’re definitely watching one released in 1953. I’ve done some quick searches and can’t find a reference to a 1972 version existing. Apparently it was screened in New York in that year?


That’s so funky. So the 1972 has the preview image (on 1953’s page) in the first post. Both seem to be included with Prime, so maybe I’ll have time to check this weekend.

1 Like

It’s available at archive.org as well.

I first watched Tokyo Story, Early Spring, Late Autumn, and The End of Summer in the late 00’s and they cemented Ozu as one of my all time favorite film makers. Tokyo Story hits different over 10 years later with a 67 year old father who’s getting quite forgetful… :no_mouth:


Alright well, language-wise, oof. Not the worst audio but still a 50s recording, old people speech, some dialects to fight, etc. The time separation or something made this one pretty rough. Lucky I had seen it before because I stubbornly stuck to no subs even though I was only picking up bits. Listening is hard :sob:

Ozu has a very distinct style so if anyone wants to see more, there are literally dozens of his movies worth seeing. I personally love An Autumn Afternoon for a similar heavy film, and Good Morning is so much fun as a more light pick. As you could see in this movie, he has a really unique way of framing his shots so low and rarely ever moves the camera. It’s a wonderful composition style and personally I can really set myself to the pace of the films and relax. Always have a great time with them. He also uses much of the same cast and circles similar themes, refining the particular type of movie he creates.


Lovely film, and really heartbreaking. Leaves a strong emotional impact on me the second time, even as I floundered through conversations. There’s a lot that can be said about the way Ozu’s movies are situated in a period when Japan was westernizing and breaking away from traditions, and I think much of the way the children become distant is a reflection of that.

I’d like to dive into details more right now but it’s a little harder when I was just catching the gist of conversations and it’s been quite a while since my first watch, but I hope people enjoy this one. Taking the time to mostly just feel it more emotionally right now. :smiling_face_with_tear:


Non-spoiler review:

I watched with English subs, and definitely would have barely caught any of it without subs, haha. This one was a lot more difficult, listening-wise, than Katakuris (and I think would be harder to enjoy with lower comprehension than Katakuris, since the story is a lot more nuanced and subtle here). Overall I liked the movie a lot!

This is another one that I probably wouldn’t have watched on my own, so I appreciated the group watch party motivating me to pop in! Y’all are getting me to branch out and experience more culture, haha! At this rate, the only movies I’ll have watched this year (in any language) will be the ones chosen by this club.

Spoiler review:

This was my first time watching one of Ozu’s movies, and I thought his style was neat! Really loved the way he framed the shots. They were always visually interesting and pleasing, and the lack of camera movement made it feel more realistic, I think, like we were sort of just existing in the background of these people’s lives. There were very, very few shots where the camera moved at all, and it almost felt shocking when it happened.

I liked the slower pace of the film and the way the tragedy of it was very quiet. They foreshadowed her death throughout the movie, so I as the viewer was expecting it, but the characters were not. And sometimes that’s just how it goes, huh? Loss is sort of like that. It’ll happen out of nowhere. It reminded me of losing my grandpa a few years ago, and some of the interactions between my dad and his siblings following their father’s death.

The theme of 孝行 in the film was interesting (thanks, WaniKani, for helping me catch that word), and it made me compare the American perception of what we owe our parents to the Japanese perception of it, thinking about my own family’s situation compared to that of the characters in the film. The theme, too, about aging and growing more distant from your parents is something that I have observed among my own family. It’s a lot of tough questions without easy answers.

I learned one new word! 電報(でんぽう), telegram! As soon as I heard it, I had a suspicion which kanji it used, and sure enough!


Yeah this movie was insanely difficult to understand if you ignore the subs. As for the movie itself, it wasn’t really my thing, so not much I can say.


A beautiful film about treasuring those around you and making time for them, not letting life pass you by. Whenever my parents test my patience I think Tokyo Story. Helps ground me.


Film magic.


While the camera almost always remains static here, the eye is constantly on the move. Traversing architectural features, people and thoughtfully stacked objects. I felt welcome on those tatami mats.

I decided on subs but I had an easy enough time not using them. Even a significant portion of the drunken Oji trio, oden shop scene registered clearly. I already want to watch that scene again, it reminds of an experience I had at an Oden shop.

Nice pick. Would probably have endlessly saved it to watch later if not for the club. I feel happier somewhat after watching


You really need to relax into Ozu films. They force you to slow down. Another great of his is ‘Floating Weeds’. His early movie about children ‘I was born, but…’ is a riot.


This was my recent introduction to Ozu, I loved it, and I had even considered nominating it. He actually made this story twice, once as a silent film, A Story of Floating Weeds, and then remade it twenty-five years later in color and with sound as Floating Weeds. I watched both but that sure is a lot to make as a suggestion here. Then “off-shoot club” popped into my head and prompted me to scrap the idea entirely.